A WIDOWER is appealing to former employees at a Basingstoke firm to come forward after his wife died from cancer thought to be caused by exposure to asbestos.

Pam Simpson, who worked at Cannon Electric in Viables during the 1970s, died in 2018 from lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Lawyers believe her death was a result of asbestos exposure while she worked for the Basingstoke firm making aeroplane connectors.

Her surviving husband Bob, who said he misses her terribly, is investigating in her memory.

According to figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in 2017 there were 2,523 deaths from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the organs caused almost exclusively by the inhalation of asbestos fibres.

Asbestos, a naturally occurring fibrous mineral, was widely used in the UK as insulation and a fire retardant. The import and use of blue and brown asbestos was banned in 1985, while white asbestos, which is thought to be less dangerous, was banned in 1999.

Pam, formerly Tomkins, thought to have been exposed to asbestos dust and fibres whilst working in the factory of Cannon Electric (Great Britain) Limited on the Viables Estate, Basingstoke, between about 1974 and about 1986.

During her employment, Pam (then Mrs Tomkins), is thought to have handled asbestos materials on a daily basis when making components for aeroplane connectors.

Mr Simpson said: “Following the diagnosis of mesothelioma Pam’s condition deteriorated rapidly.

"She suffered from severe breathlessness and build up of fluid. Pam lost a lot of weight and passed away almost three months to the day after she was given her diagnosis. I miss her terribly.”

Michael Osborne, from Larcomes Legal, Solicitors, who is representing Mr Simpson said, “We would like to hear from anyone who worked at Cannon Electric and who remembers working with materials which contained asbestos. We are appealing for help from former Cannon Electric employees.”

“More than 2,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. It is a type of cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. It does not respond well to treatment and options available to patients are limited. Employers have a duty to take precautions with asbestos. There is no safe type of asbestos and no safe level of asbestos exposure.”

Anyone who is able to help is asked to contact Michael Osborne on 07715 668748 or at Michael.osborne@larcomes.co.uk.

Rates of mesothelioma nearly doubled between 1995, when there were 1,317 cases, and 2017. More than half of deaths from mesothelioma were people over 75 and 82% were men.